Mary Magdalene, meeting the resurrected Christ, falls to the ground “thinking to resume her old place at the feet of Jesus and to embrace them,” as Tissot notes. While Christ had encouraged the Magdalene’s ministrations in an earlier scene, The Ointment of the Magdalene, now he counsels caution, warning, “Touch me not”; the time for such familiarity has passed. The Magdalene’s prostrate body and full, flowing hair provide a clear visual cross-reference, effectively linking the two moments.
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James Tissot (French, 1836-1902). Touch Me Not (Noli me tangere), 1886-1894. Opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, Image: 11 1/8 x 7 1/2 in. (28.3 x 19.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Purchased by public subscription, 00.159.335
Purchased by public subscription
Image: 11 1/8 x 7 1/2 in. (28.3 x 19.1 cm); Sheet: 11 1/8 x 7 1/2 in. (28.3 x 19.1 cm)